The Great Camera Shootout 2011

We spent some time nerding out on these videos this weekend. It’s the Zacuto: Great Camera Shootout 2011, a documentary of the Single Chip Camera Evaluation (SCCE).

Tipping point covers

…the dynamic range and usable latitude of each camera. “We need to see how these cameras record real scenes,” says Jens Bogehegn. Thus, Bob Primes, ASC, designed an under-exposure scene and an over-exposure scene. In regards to methodology, the camera master had to set their camera to record the widest dynamic range and they were not allowed to change any settings between the two scenes. The combination of both of these scenes will show the usable dynamic range of each camera. The featured scenes are shot by Michael Bravin and lit by Matt Siegel and Nancy Schreiber, ASC

Sensors and Sensitivity covers,

…sensitivity, resolution, compression and the relationship between them. These tests were designed and administered by Robert Primes ASC, director of the Single Chip Camera Evaluation (SCCE) and shown at 2K screenings around the world to indie filmmakers, event shooters, commercial DP’s, directors and corporate filmmakers alike. Their opinions on the footage are invaluable when it comes to understanding what all this data means in real world shooting situations.

A little more info:

The impressive 12-Camera line-up includes: 35mm Kodak 5213 & 5219 Film, Arri Alexa, RED ONE M-X, Weisscam HS-2, Phantom Flex, Sony F-35, Sony F3, Panasonic AG-AF100, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 7D and Nikon D7000. In addition to the SCCE tests, the web series features commentary from some of the top DPs in the industry, which was filmed at worldwide screening locations in Sydney, Amsterdam, New York, London, Las Vegas (NAB) and Hollywood “You’ll hear from indie filmmakers, event shooters, commercial DPs, directors and corporate filmmakers,” says Steve Weiss, “Although you are not watching these tests in a 2K theatrical setting, hearing such commentary from people in the ASC, BSC, ACS, CSC, NSC, ICG and the SOC, will help you evaluate the significance of these tests.”

How cool? We found these videos through a write up on Philip Bloom’s blog where he posted several screen shots and commentary. In the screens we were surprised by how well the DSLR’s held up… but in the video footage they didn’t do quite as well. Granted they’re competing against cameras many thousands of dollars more expensive. The Sony F3 performed incredibly well, striking a great balance in price and functionality. Watch them for yourself. Video three is coming soon.

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